Charles and Camilla: Greece Is The Word

Yesterday The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall began their official joint visit to Greece.

Upon their arrival in Athens, Their Royal Highnesses were welcomed by the British Ambassador to Greece, Kate Smith.

The first engagement of the day saw Charles and Camilla attend a service of Remembrance at the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square. The Memorial dedicated to Greeks who died fighting for their country.

During the ceremony, Prince Charles laid a wreath at the Monument to the Unknown Soldier.

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TRH’s then travelled to the Presidential Mansion to receive their official welcome by President of Greece Prokopios Pavlopoulos and his wife, Vlassia Pavlopoulou-Peltsemi.

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Charles commented how he “deeply appreciated” the opportunity to officially visit Greece and said he and Camilla were “enormously grateful” for the “kind and generous” hospitality.

Following the private exchange of gifts, Prince Charles travelled to
Maximos Mansion to meet the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

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Camilla went her separate way and given a tour of the Benaki Museum by the Prime Minister’s partner, Betty Baziana.

During the tour, Camilla viewed gold jewellery that dated as far back as the First and Second Centuries as well as two El Greco pieces in which Camilla commented: “These are great paintings, my husband will be very jealous.”

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Before attending the official dinner hosted by the President of the Hellenic Republic and Mrs Vlasia Pavlopoulou, Charles received the leader of the Greek opposition, Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

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On Thursday the day began when The Prince of Wales met the Archbishop of Athens.

HRH was greeted at the entrance to the Archbishop’s Palace by His Beatitude Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens and All Greece.

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Before his private audience, Charles signed the palace’s visitors’ book.

For their first joint engagement of the day, Their Royal Highnesses took part on a brief walking tour of the Kapnikarea area of central Athens.

The tour took in the Church of St. Eirini and the stalls of St. Eirini Square and saw Charles and Camilla take a short break to relax and try traditional Greek coffee in a local café.

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Following their coffee break, TRH’s sampled some local delicacies including loukoumades, traditional Greek doughnuts and koulouri, traditional Greek pretzels. The final stop of the walking tour was the Byzantine Church of Kapnikarea.

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Charles and Camilla then moved on to the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Phaleron.

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Greeted by Captain Tim Ferns, UK Defence Attaché, The Prince of Wales and his wife walked to the Stone of Remembrance for a service during which Charles placed a wreath.

Their Royal Highnesses met dignitaries and guests before a short tour of the cemetery and a walking inspection of the Hellenic Armed Forces Honour Guard.

Before departing, Charles and Camilla met gardeners responsible for the upkeep of the cemetery and signed the visitors’ book.

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The Prince then went on his own to visit Piraeus for a series of engagements to celebrate the UK and Greece’s longstanding maritime relationship.

The visit today included a visit to HMC Valiant, a border-force ‘cutter’ currently deployed in the Aegean Sea, and working with the Hellenic Coastguard to afford security and search and rescue assistance.

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His Royal Highness signed the ship’s official visitor’s book and presented a plaque, which recognises Valiant’s contribution to humanitarian efforts.

Charles also visited the Averoff, a Greek armoured cruiser, part of the Hellenic Navy. The Averoff which played a vital role during the First and Second World Wars.

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The Prince concluded his brief tour of the ship, stopping in the Greek Orthodox Chapel, before being presented with the HS AVEROF Crest.

Charles wrapped up his engagement checking out the HNS Olympias, a full-scale replica of an ancient Greek ‘Trireme’.

Camilla joined the Prime Minister’s wife and visited the Benaki Museum. The museum showcases Greek civilisation and tradition.

The Duchess then visited the scenic Kaisariani Monastery located on Mount Hymettus overlooking Athens, where school children were taking part in various reading activities to mark Athens UNESCO World Book Capital 2018.

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HRH read a passage from Harry Potter to the children before they discussed their favourite parts.

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Camilla then took a tour of the monastery before watching a theatrical performance by the students of the extract from Harry Potter.

The Duchess continued her busy day visiting a local shelter in Athens which assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

Greeted by Mr Georgios Kaminis, Mayor of Athens, Camilla was introduced to those who help to run the shelter. The Duchess was given a tour of the shelter’s first floor, including a room for disabled women, the playroom and kitchen.

HRH then met privately with two survivors of domestic abuse before attending a reception with the shelter’s staff and residents, where she gifted a hamper of Highgrove products for the residents to enjoy before departing.

As their busy day continued, Charles attended a British Council reception. His Royal Highness signed the visitors’ book and met with Maria Tsakali, the British Council’s Head of Education, to discuss the key outcomes of the Council’s conference on British-Greek Transnational Education. The Prince will then met with other conference attendees before departing.

Later this evening The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will attend a reception at the British Ambassador’s Residence.

Their Royal Highnesses will end their visit to Greece on Friday visiting Crete, where the Prince and the Duchess will tour the Knossos archaeological site.

TRH’s will also visit a local charity which helps to find accommodation for migrant families in Crete, assisting them to integrate with the local community.

Charles and Camilla will wrap up their visit to Greece with a celebration of local produce, culture and heritage.

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